Today’s youth, tomorrow’s leaders
The Ripple Foundation is a literacy-based charitable organization that focuses on teaching kids how to express and empower themselves through creative writing. The foundation offers four free programs to youth in grades four to 12 including weekly workshops, a writing contest, an annual conference and a weekly blog. All of their programs and services are available online so children and young adults across Canada can participate.
The volunteer run organization was founded by Ivy Wong in 2012. An entrepreneur who owns two businesses, including a publishing company and a digital solutions company, Wong started the Ripple Foundation to help children improve their creative literacy, grow personally, and develop important leadership, confidence, and social skills. Wong registered the Ripple Foundation as a non-profit organization in 2015 and as a charitable organization two years later.
Ripple Foundation’s Kids Write 4 Kids (KW4K) contest runs until March 31, 2024. It is open to all aspiring writers in grades four to eight. All submissions must be original creative stories written by the entrant. Entries will be judged by a panel of 12 literary and education experts including Jessica Scott, a bestselling children’s book author, Marty Chan, an award-winning author, writer, and playwright, Joyce Grant, a freelance journalist, Alison Isaac, a teacher and writer, and other distinguished authors, accomplished journalists, and winners from past years.
The winner’s submission will be professionally published and sold in paperback and eBook format on Amazon, iBookstore, Apple, Google Play and Overdrive. All proceeds from the sales of the book will go to the winner’s charity of choice. This year’s winner donated their book’s proceeds to the Canadian Cancer Society. The books are designed, illustrated, and published by a team of industry leaders who volunteer at the foundation. Over 3,800 students have submitted entries and more than 11 schools and charities have benefitted from the proceeds of the book sales.
The foundation also hosts Write It Workshops to help kids in grades four to eight improve their writing skills. These free weekly workshops are held virtually Saturdays from 1 to 2 p.m., twice a year for five weeks. The workshops are run by a group of committed and trained volunteers who recognize the importance of literacy and want to help students reach their potential. The workshops help students learn how to format an engaging story and express themselves creatively. The workshop topics include Brainstorm Bonanza, Mixed Bag of Mayhem, Plotline Play-by-Play, Details! Details!, and Stay on Track.
Wave Blog is a weekly blog written by students in grades eight to 12. This online platform is a positive and safe place for older students to share their views and interests, connect with their peers, and express themselves without fear of judgement, pressure, or being bullied.
To have a blog published on the site, students must submit their resume, a sample of their writing to the foundation, and go through a phone interview process first. Blog posts cover a variety of topics that range from entertaining and lighthearted, like movie and book reviews, to more serious topics including immigrating to Canada, diet and nutrition, and gender identity.
The Express, Inspire, Connect Youth Conference is an annual virtual conference that’s coordinated, organized, and led by students. This half-day conference gives participants in grades eight to 12 a chance to connect with their peers, engage in meaningful discussions, brainstorm ideas, network with industry experts, and gain invaluable knowledge. The theme for the 2024 Conference is Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Leaders.
Information about the Ripple Foundation and its programs is available on their website at ripplefoundation.ca